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8! Ways to Make a Wireframe Image
show user profile  mrgrotey

During my time on MF there have been various wireframe methods given, I thought id put them all (at least the ones Im aware of) into one image and add it to my grotorials list :)


Method 1:

This is simply a screen grab from the viewport when in wireframe mode and 'backface cull' is ticked in the object properties. 'Backface Cull' is pretty important for this type of image as the wireframe behind can and does make the image very busy and difficult to see what's going on.

Method 2:

This is a render after applying a standard black material with the 'wireframe' box ticked in the material editor. This looks similar to method 1 but you should notice that it produces and much cleaner looking image than before mainly due to anti-aliasing.

Method 3:

This is another screen grab from the viewport but this time both 'Smooth and Highlights' (using the F3 key) and 'Edged Faces' (using the F4 key) are on.

Method 4:

This method is a render using a standard material with a 'Gradient Ramp' map in the diffuse slot. You must also tick the 'Face Map' box in the material options.
The 'Gradient Type' needs to be set to 'Box' and the gradient colour should be set as shown in the following image:

The distance between the two markers near the right hand side dictate the sharpness of the transition between the white and black and the closer they are to the right edge dictates the thickness of the wire in the render.

The 'feature' of this method, whether it be advantageous or not is that the larger the faces become on the model the thicker the wireframe becomes.

Method 5:

This method uses a composite material.
In the top slot you put a standard white material.
In the second slot down you put a standard black material with 'wireframe' ticked in the material options.
NOTE: This method is not compatible with the default Scanline Renderer. Therefore you will need to switch to Mental Ray.

Method 6:

For this method you will need to clone your original mesh then add a push modifier to the new cloned mesh, give the 'amount' a value of 0.01 then assign it a standard black material with 'wireframe' ticked in the material options.
The original mesh will simply need a standard white material.
TIP: for rendering speed you should uncheck 'Receive Shadows' and 'Cast Shadows' from the splines properties window

Method 7:

You will need to have Vray for this last method.
Using a Vray material put a 'vrayEdgesTex' map in the diffuse slot.
Use pure white as the standard diffuse colour, and pure black as wire diffuse colour.

Method 8:

Like Method 5 above, this method must be used with Mental Ray. It uses a specially made shader designed solely for this purpose.
You can download this shader from the following link: (installation instructions included)
NOTE: If you have installed this correctly the material will appear as a map type (not a full material) and you should add it to the diffuse slot of a standard material

Method 9:

As with Method 7 this uses a material to do the hard work for you but this time you dont have to be in Mental Ray for it to work. Here's the link to the material

You download the file, add it to the 'plugins' folder of your 3ds Max folder and it will appear as a standalone material in the material editor.

Also, as with Method 4, the 'feature' of this method, whether it be advantageous or not is that the larger the faces become on the model the thicker the wireframe becomes.

Method 10:

This method involves going into edge mode selecting all the edges (Ctrl+A) then go down the modify panel and choose 'Create Shape from Edges/Selection'. This turns those edges into a separate spline object. You then select the spline object turn one 'Renderable' in the Rendering rollout in the modify panel, and assign a self illuminated pure black material to it. The wire thickness is very easily adjust here by changing the thickness value of the spline.
TIP: for rendering speed you should turn the amount of sides down to 3 on the spline and uncheck 'Receive Shadows' and 'Cast Shadows' from the spline's properties window

read 12092 times
11/21/2007 12:44:01 PM (last edit: 3/21/2008 1:41:40 AM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Would you be pissed off if (think) I found yet another method?

Select the entire mesh, select all the edges, chamfer them ever so slightly and give the new faces a different mat id. Assign a multi-sub mat and set two different materials.

Should work. he he.

And... sorry ;o)

read 12084 times
11/21/2007 12:54:29 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 12:55:07 PM)
show user profile  dd
nik you should have made this thread, hes letting the side down a bit aint he. bloody slacker


read 12076 times
11/21/2007 12:57:00 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 12:57:00 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
*sprays beer all over keyboard*

Ha ha ha. Poor Mr.G. :o)

read 12074 times
11/21/2007 12:57:55 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 12:57:55 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
oh come off it, no-one's going to go through all that trouble are they, stop winding me up im sure there are lots of others ways to do it but I just wanted the most used and most practical.

Methods are finished! :)

read 12053 times
11/21/2007 1:17:56 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:17:56 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark

read 12050 times
11/21/2007 1:18:41 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:18:41 PM)
show user profile  dd
ohhhhh ark at grotey stomping his foot down cause hes lazy and didnt get all the facts first

Nik here have a beer mate, just ignore him. big fat lazy n00b meanie that he is

read 12044 times
11/21/2007 1:24:29 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:24:29 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Thanks mate!

*drinks through the tears*

read 12040 times
11/21/2007 1:26:05 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:26:05 PM)
show user profile  _3dioot
/me shakes fist at mrgrotey

All the fame has gone to his head i tell ya!

GrtZ 3dioot


/me Hands nik another beer
read 12036 times
11/21/2007 1:31:17 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:31:17 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Thanks guys, the beers are helping.

*wipes eyes with tissue*

read 12033 times
11/21/2007 1:33:16 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:33:16 PM)
show user profile  dd
im sooo pissed off right now at his personal attack at Nik and he was only trying to help build up a usefull resource.

seriously Nik dont cry no more he aint worth it and we know you tried to help
/me hands a six pack to Nik

its taken him 3 attempts at this and Nik proved he got it wrong again and now hes come down on him like a hammer which in MY book aint on

got enough beers Nik mate?

read 12030 times
11/21/2007 1:34:14 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:35:48 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Thanks DD. I guess you really find out who your friends are when it comes down to it. I'll get over this. I just need to mentally go to my happy place.

Thanks mate. You are a real friend.

read 12015 times
11/21/2007 1:48:35 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 1:48:35 PM)
show user profile  Mad-Dog-Bomber
I actually know another way :) but lets leave it at 8 :)

read 12008 times
11/21/2007 2:02:38 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 2:02:38 PM)
show user profile  mrgrotey
*grabs all unopened beers off Nik and runs away*

This is my party! Waaahhhhhhh!!

read 12005 times
11/21/2007 2:06:33 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 2:06:33 PM)
show user profile  horizon
Naming the thread "DIY wireframe renders" would solve all your problems

read 11973 times
11/21/2007 5:02:51 PM (last edit: 11/21/2007 5:03:19 PM)
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